Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

TMJ And TMD Specialist

AnaBella Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

Clara H. Song, DDS

Cosmetic, Family and General Dentistry located in Bellevue, WA

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can be a very painful condition. For those living in and around Bellevue, Washington, the services of Clara Song, DDS, of AnaBella Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can help. Dr. Song is highly skilled in diagnosing and treating TMJ and TMD and can put you on a path towards relief. Call the office today to book a visit, or try the easy online scheduling tool.

TMJ and TMD Q&A

What are TMJ and TMD?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), also sometimes referred to as TMJ, is a condition characterized by problems with your temporomandibular joint — the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. 

This joint is instrumental in speech, chewing, yawning, and any other activity that requires you to open your mouth. Your temporomandibular joint enables you to move your jaw from side to side as well as up and down. 

If the muscles, bones, connective tissues, or nerves within your temporomandibular joint become damaged, you could develop TMD. 

What causes TMD?

Researchers are unsure of the exact cause of TMD, but there are several known factors that can contribute to the condition. An injury to your jaw or neck can lead to TMD, including whiplash or a sports injury. 

Grinding or clenching your teeth is a common cause of TMD. Additional causal factors include arthritis in the temporomandibular joint, high levels of stress, or movement of the disc within the joint.

Jaw pain is the primary symptom of TMD. Additional causes for concern include:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Tenderness in the jaw
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when you open your mouth
  • Pain in your ear, neck, or face

Once Dr. Song examines the joint and discusses your symptoms, she can devise a customized treatment plan. 

What are some treatment options for TMD?

Medications can help treat pain and swelling. If stress is causing your condition, anti-anxiety medications can be an effective treatment option. 

A night guard is a great approach if your TMD developed due to nighttime teeth grinding. These custom-fitted devices are comfortable to wear and prevent you from harming your teeth and jaw while you sleep. 

Some TMD issues can be improved through dental work. Crowns, braces, or even bridges can correct an uneven bite and better distribute pressure across your upper and lower teeth. 

In some cases, surgery is the only way to effectively treat TMD. More conservative options are always preferred, and every effort is made to find relief that does not require surgical intervention. 

If you are tired of jaw pain and unusual grinding or popping sounds, schedule a visit at AnaBella Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Online booking is available, or you can always call the office to speak with a friendly member of the administrative staff.